Stay Safe and Stress-Free this Holiday Season
Updated November 2021
Last year, the pandemic kept many of us from our loved ones, and this year, especially during the holiday season, many of us are hoping to make up for lost time and distance. Vaccine availability has made travel and seeing loved ones safer, but as a person with lupus, it is still important for you to be aware of your health and consider taking a more cautious approach than others.
It’s important to follow the recommendations from your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and new variants, and to protect yourself.
You should consider getting vaccinated against COVID-19 if you have not done so already. The CDC encourages vaccination for everyone, but especially for people who are immunocompromised, which can include people with lupus. The American College of Rheumatology also recommends that people with autoimmune disease get vaccinated against COVID-19. Additional, or “booster,” shots are also recommended for some people. Even if you are fully vaccinated, check with your doctor before you resume your pre-pandemic habits, such as not wearing a mask in public indoor spaces. Based on your individual health, you and your doctor may decide it is best for you to remain cautious.
Here are ways to stay safe and reduce your stress:
- If you are traveling, review and follow the necessary guidelines outlined by the area you are traveling to and from. The CDC hotspot tracker tool can be helpful if you’re trying to avoid areas where COVID-19 cases are high.
- Use contactless services or shop online to reduce the amount of contact you have with a person.
- Make a list of gift items ahead of going out to the store. This way you can grab what you need and reduce the amount of potential exposure.
- Wear a mask while in crowded spaces, wash or sanitize your handsas frequently as possible, and maintain a safe distance when possible.
- If you’re not available to meet in person, arrange a time to virtually meet, speak over the phone, or drop off home-cooked meals.
Remember to pay attention to your stress levels and mental health. The holidays can be joyful but they can also be challenging. We have some tips to help you have a low stress holiday or deal with stress around the holiday.
While many of us may be able to gather this year, ensure that you are taking care of yourself and doing what’s best for your household.